Newport News Public Schools update for February 2018

Aviation Academy awarded $40k grant for modeling and prototype lab

Arconic Foundation awards grant to promote STEM in manufacturing.

Denbigh High School’s Aviation Academy, a PRIME (Partnership Response In Manufacturing Education) School, was awarded a $40,000 grant from Arconic Foundation to develop a modeling and prototype lab to promote science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) in manufacturing. The lab will support all four of the Aviation Academy’s pathways: aviation technology, flight operations, aerospace engineering and aviation security and safety.

The grant will provide students with new equipment, including five iPad Pros; five laptop computers; five desktop 3D printers; four Ultimaker 3D Printers; a three-in-one machine for milling, drilling, or performing lathe operations; and two 3D scanners. Students will use the equipment to design and build models and prototypes, preparing them for engineering and advanced manufacturing.

The grant award will also be used to support the 2018 Summer LIFT (Learning Integrated with Flight and Technology) program for incoming Aviation Academy ninth-grade students. LIFT will introduce students to manufacturing in aerospace professions.

Thanks to the generosity of Arconic Foundation, the Aviation Academy has been awarded a total of $123,000 to support academic programs over the past four years.

Heritage High awarded American Library Association grant

The Heritage High School library has been awarded a $25,000 Libraries Ready to Code grant by the American Library Association to launch Full STEAM Ahead, a program that will teach computational thinking and computer science techniques to special education students. Sponsored by Google, the Libraries Ready to Code initiative will help promote computer science and computational thinking among youth. The library at Heritage was one of 28 winners from 21 states and the District of Columbia, with awards totaling more than $500,000.

With the use of assistive technology, students will learn to code their own music using several programming techniques.

NN School Board names acting Superintendent of Schools

During its December special meeting, the school board appointed Brian Nichols as acting Superintendent of Schools to guide the daily operations of the school division, effective December 21. Nichols brings a wealth of experience and knowledge about Newport News Public Schools, having served the school division for 20 years as a teacher, assistant principal, principal, executive director and chief academic officer.

Nichols will serve in this capacity until the school board appoints a permanent superintendent. Current Superintendent of Schools Ashby Kilgore announced her retirement in October after serving in the position for 10 years. Her last day on the job was December 20.

The school board has engaged the services of the Virginia School Boards Association to assist with the search for a new superintendent. The school board is seeking public input regarding the qualifications for the new superintendent through surveys and public hearings, which began in January.

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